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Old 07-03-2008, 04:03 PM   #1
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countertops-to tile or relaminate?


I have a 50's era very out of date kitchen (metal cabinets and all!) that I am attempting to update without a true heavy-duty remodel (I have a baby on the way, expected in mid-November, so our budget is VERY tight and my ability to help my husband with heavy work is pretty much non-existent). I am trying to find the most cost efficient way to redo my countertops. I can't decide (or if it is even possible) to put down new laminate over the old countertop (which is in very good shape, just ugly and stained/burned (a nasty "beige" that has turned quite yellow and appears to have a faux texture look (truly flat, just a printed image) or to tile over it. Is either possible without having to rip out the old countertop and start from scratch?

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Old 07-03-2008, 04:33 PM   #2
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countertops-to tile or relaminate?


I'm not expert on laminate but I can tell you it would be a lot more work then you're asking about to tile: Tear out old stuff, multiple layers of plywood, CBU and then some kind of edge detail.
Start researching laminate

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Old 07-03-2008, 10:13 PM   #3
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countertops-to tile or relaminate?


Not that this any recommendation but due to your circumstances you could tile over the laminate. Score it heavily and lay small 4x4 tiles. Put an oak edge on and your done. You will of course have to reset the sink on top of the tiles. It won't last more than a few years but maybe by then you can afford more.
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:21 PM   #4
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countertops-to tile or relaminate?


I tiled mine a few years ago and it really sucks as a kitchen work surface. I'd advise against tile. Laminate is cheap and easy, so I'd go that route if I had it to do over again.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:39 PM   #5
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countertops-to tile or relaminate?


most people don't like tile - the surface isn't smooth and all the grout gets stained and can't be cleaned etc.
plus I don't know how well tile adhesive (thinset mortar) would even stick to a smooth laminate... like previous post said, it would probably only last a couple years and then yer tiles would start popping up/coming loose...

you *might* be able to glue another layer of laminate over the existing as long as existing is smooth (no bubbled-up spots) and there aren't rounded edges or rounded backspash... but again it may not last too long...

depending on your countertop layout you can buy premade sections at a home supply center for cheap and it's not that hard to pop off the old counter tops and glue down the new ones... again depending on your layout...
but you also may need to cut out the hole for the sink.
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Old 07-06-2008, 06:54 AM   #6
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countertops-to tile or relaminate?


There are many very nice laminates on the market today. Wilson Art is one of the largest laminate suppliers in the industry. They have several higher-end-look lines. Here is a link to Wilson Art: http://www.countertop.com/
Here is a link to their HD (High Definition line): http://samples.wilsonart.com/t-hd_laminates.aspx

To give you an idea of what a newer laminate can look like, here are some pictures. The first shows a countertop at a luxury apt. complex's clubhouse kitchen. The original material was soapstone. It was worn, damaged, faded, & cracked, and only 5 years old.
The property management opted to go with a laminate. We supplied them with various laminate samples, from which they chose the laminate pictured (A Wilson Art HD laminate).

Before (Worn out soap stone):


After (High-End-look laminate):


There are different configuration that can be incorporated into laminate countertops, such as a continuous backsplash, rounded-bullnose edge, countoured edge, etc, etc.

Before:


After - Wilson Art HD laminate:
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:48 PM   #7
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countertops-to tile or relaminate?


wow! that is pretty nice Thank you so much for the images too!
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Old 07-07-2008, 12:03 AM   #8
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countertops-to tile or relaminate?


Unfortunately, to laminate your old top, you're going to need quite a few tools, including a router or laminate trimmer, and at least one file.

What you can do on the cheap, for example, is buy some laminate handipanels of the same kind of laminate and use contact cement to bond them to the existing laminate. Just roughen your existing laminate with sandpaper first. Where I live, "Rona" sells 2 foot by 4 foot sheets of plastic laminate for $4 each. That's dirt cheap compared to a 4X8 sheet for $65. Phone around to see who sells laminate handi-panels in your area.

Also, to get a tight fit, position your laminate handipanels on your existing top, and mark the edge of the counter top on the bottom of the handipanel with a pencil. Then use a laminate knife to score deeply along the outside of your pencil mark, and then break away the scrap.

Now, paint both the top of the old laminate and bottom of the new laminate with contact cement and allow time for it to dry. Place pieces of WAX PAPER on top of the old laminate and position the new laminate on top of that waxpaper. When you have the new laminate positioned properly, clamp it down with a pair of clamps on ONE end only.

Then, raise the opposite end and pull out as many pieces of wax paper as will come out. Set the laminate down so that the contact cement bonds the laminate down, and remove the clamps. Now raise the previously clamped edge and pull out the remaining wax paper. If you have a J-roller, roll the laminate to ensure a good bond, otherwise, just press it down wif yer hands.

Now, just file the edge of the new laminate smooth with an ordinary bastard mill file.

Voila. A new top to your old plastic laminate.

Another thing to consider is to sand your old laminate down and paint it with an epoxy bathtub paint. The problem with these paints is that it's hard to avoid brush strokes in them. Thinning your poxy with xylene should help in that regard.

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Old 07-09-2008, 03:08 PM   #9
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countertops-to tile or relaminate?


With the circumstances you have, I agree that tiling over your existing laminate countertops would be easiest, but I also think that tile countertops can be an inconvenient surface. If you really want the tile, you could incorporate a tile backsplash - that way you will have the easy, convenient laminate countertops plus the pretty tiles.

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Old 10-02-2011, 09:26 AM   #10
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countertops-to tile or relaminate?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mudpaw View Post
I have a 50's era very out of date kitchen (metal cabinets and all!) that I am attempting to update without a true heavy-duty remodel (I have a baby on the way, expected in mid-November, so our budget is VERY tight and my ability to help my husband with heavy work is pretty much non-existent). I am trying to find the most cost efficient way to redo my countertops. I can't decide (or if it is even possible) to put down new laminate over the old countertop (which is in very good shape, just ugly and stained/burned (a nasty "beige" that has turned quite yellow and appears to have a faux texture look (truly flat, just a printed image) or to tile over it. Is either possible without having to rip out the old countertop and start from scratch?
I don't know much about resurficing countertops but I saw a kit at Lowes that lets you refinish existing countertops. It is a paint that you put on in layers. It looks really good to me and it seems like it would be easy to do. It isn't that expensive compared to replacing the countertops. It seems like the cost was about $150.00 a kit. I'm not sure how much of the surface that will cover, you will have to check it out. We are going to try it ourselves. Good luck.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:26 AM   #11
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countertops-to tile or relaminate?


I think the previous poster was referring to an Epoxy overlay kit for the countertops. Product is simililar to garage floor epoxy overlays. Google search for "Epoxy kitchen countertops" and you'll find plenty of resources. I'd make sure you buy from a mfg that certifies/markets 'for kitchen use, etc' as I don't know the toxicity concerns/differences between epoxy systems designed for the floor vs countertops, but I'd imagine there is some difference. Here's a nice youtube video showing a how-to installation over tile. Can't imagine it'd be much different than going over old laminate, though scratching the old surface with sandpaper for better adhesion is always a good idea.

I'm thinking about using this type epoxy overlay in my own house (as I always seem to experiment first at home before recommending a new product to clients...) I'd like to hear from others if they've used this system on countertops and with what kind of long term effects, cleanup, color consistency over time, etc. Good luck with your project!

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Old 10-02-2011, 10:43 AM   #12
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countertops-to tile or relaminate?


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